Mr Apirom says the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives will improve the way farmers are delivered assistance. Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has ordered the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to team up with the Industrial Promotion Department and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to develop and upgrade smart farmers and community tourism, part of ongoing efforts to address poverty in the rural sector, covering as many as 30 million people.
The government is eager to create 100,000 smart farmers in 2020, and an additional 200,000 during 2021 and 2022.
The smart farmer initiative aims to maximise farmer capability by adopting technology to improve production capacity, management and marketing, upgrading them to become leaders in their hometowns.
The scheme is under the umbrella of the government’s Pracha Rat public-private collaborative policy.
The Bangkok Post sat down for an interview with BAAC president Apirom Sukprasert, who has been tasked with a leading role in tackling poverty in the farm sector.
What is the priority task for the BAAC to solve poverty in the farm sector?
The bank has already implemented the first mission to address existing debts and loan sharks in the farm sector, offering 5 billion baht in loans to 2.9 million farmers. The bank will later offer more loans and programmes to support them to earn extra income.
The bank will also improve the way farmers are assisted, using methods from the Chinese government that are tailor-made for each farmer. The Chinese government supports farmers with processing their goods and provides them with market access.
The bank together with the State Enterprise Policy Office, Fiscal Policy Office and Industrial Promotion Department have learned the Chinese methods in tackling poverty.
Senior officials from the four state agencies paid a visit in early November to the Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) to learn about solutions curated to help Chinese farmers in remote areas.
The ADBC has been facilitating farmers to gain easier access to the fund and directly address the farmers’ problems on an individual basis. The Chinese government also gives full support to farmers to run their own community businesses and sell their products via e-commerce.In 2015, China had 70 million people below the poverty line. After the government started implementing the individual aid measures that year, the figure dropped to 19 million this year. The government aims to raise all 19 million people above the poverty line in 2020.The aid measures vary for […]